A state agriculture department regulator regrets tipping off Butterball officials about a law enforcement raid.
The Fayetteville Observer reports that Dr. Sarah Jean Mason, the director of animal health programs in the department's poultry division, issued a notarized statement through her lawyer saying her actions "reflected poorly" on the agency. She said her motive in telling the veterinarian working for Butterball's Shannon facility was to "curtail avain abuse."
Mason said no one at the department told her to contact the company's veterinarian -- but that isn't stopping Progress NC, a liberal advocacy group, from taking aim at Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, a Republican.
"More than a week has gone by since news broke of the Butterball tip-off and yet Steve Troxler remains silent," said Gerrick Brenner, the group's executive director. "By not speaking up, Commissioner Troxler only raises more questions about the incident and the culture inside his agency. North Carolinians deserve government officials who protect the public interest, do not cater to corporate interests, and who quickly explain mistakes clearly and in a transparent manner."
Progress NC said it filed a records request to ferret out answers, seeking email and phone records. A call to the department was not immediately returned.
Meanwhile, the Fayetteville paper reports that Mason remains on the job pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.